Out and about

The dynamism of SAND comes from its ability to be flexible, responsive, broad-thinking and creative. We are still musing about the best structure for SAND to keep all these positives intact whilst giving us a business model to ensure the work progresses and survives. This looks increasingly like something in the Social Enterprise world so this is what we are focusing on. There still doesn’t seem to be any particular rush – in fact it is interesting to take the pressure off and watch the organic development, but we do need to collect the information and have the ideas and understanding of what we might need to do to make it happen when the time comes.

More people are slowly getting involved and this gentle ‘boil’ seem to really work in terms of buy-in. A local network is organising some fundraising (and perhaps more importantly awareness/knowledge raising) events which, it is hoped will involve 20-30 people; we are planning a ‘launch’ event in July for the local LGBT community, friends and allies which we hope will attract 50-ish people.

Of course, the SAND HealthWatch-funded research is about to get underway – we have designed and printed some publicity and will initially be piloting the questions with a small group. Easter has arrived slap bang in the middle of the design/pilot so we’ll work with the timescale to get the best return we can once we get the publicity out and about.

This research is very much a project – just one aspect of SAND’s work and – as it is the only bit that is funded – we are aware that we need to keep an eye on the ball to ensure a balance is kept. We have just developed a ‘volunteer hours log’ so we can capture all the time that is given to SAND in addition to the funded work – we started the log at the beginning of the financial year to keep it in line with accounts for future funding bids.

We are delighted by the uptake of – and interest in – the SAND presentation which is coming from different quarters including Universities and Solicitors for the Elderly. This feels like a great step forward and we are looking forward to developing it further. This must become an income stream for SAND so we do need to charge – but only £50 a pop and, if people really can’t afford that we could perhaps go lower or talk about in-kind exchange.

Publicity is a big thing and we are working hard on ‘branding’ which might sound a bit private sector but we want people to recognise SAND at a glance – at some point in the future we may have some sort of SAND-stamp so let’s start that thinking now and have a strong image. It looks like we have secured a bit of money for banners and promotional material so the work starts here! As part of that we are thinking about having some representation at the Shrewsbury Carnival – Out and Proud, being seen – all that …. at the moment the only thing in the way of that is capacity and this is a classic case of asking others to carry a banner – we’ll see if we manage that one.

This Blog records what is happening at which point of SAND’s development.

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